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Tons and tons: Dates set for 15th Allegheny River Cleanup

Allegheny River Cleanup volunteers (from left) Phoenix Lindell, Kyle Yaegle, Juliet Lande, and Chris Check work on moving a television from the riverbank to a canoe.

Dates are set for the 15th annual Allegheny River Cleanup.

This year’s event will start Thursday, Sept. 14 and run through Saturday, Sept. 16.

“The annual Allegheny River Cleanup provides residents and visitors the opportunity to improve the health of aquatic ecosystems,” volunteer David Snyder said, “and restore natural beauty by reducing accumulations of trash — mainly plastics, tires and metals–in the waters and on the shorelines of the Allegheny River, her tributaries, and the Allegheny Reservoir.

“With every stroke of your paddle, or every heft of a garbage bag into a dumpster, you’ll be reminded of why you’re doing this. It is such a privilege to live in these beautiful surroundings, and keeping them healthy is great fun.”

A total of 205 volunteers removed 5,180 pounds of recyclable metal, 38 tires and 32 cubic yards of the trash from the river last year.

Allegheny River Cleanup volunteers (from left) Piper VanOrd, Steve Bastow, Juliet Lande, Kyle Yaegle, and Phoenix Lindell wait for help with a 20-foot-long section of corrugated metal pipe.

“On Thursday the 14th, we’ll be working on the stretch from Buckaloons to Wildwood Inn,” Snyder said. “Friday, September 15, we’ll work between Wildwood Inn and Tidioute. And finally, Saturday the 16th will be spent on the stretch from Allegheny Outfitters to Buckaloons.”

Over 5,300 volunteers have contributed over 42,500 hours to the effort since 2005.

The total amount of trash removed — 986 cubic yards — is astounding.

It’s included television sets, microwaves, lawn chairs, refrigerators, 55-gallon drums and, Snyder said, 17,459 tires and almost 79 tons — 157,562 pounds — of recyclable metal.

“Countless bags have been filled with recyclable metal, glass, plastic and aluminum,” he added.

A goal of 40 volunteers is set for each day and participants are required to sign up in advance at alleghenyrivercleanup.com/volunteer.html.

Anyone who has ever participated — as well as this year’s volunteers — are invited to the end-of-cleanup River Riot on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 6 p.m. at Bent Run and Allegheny Outfitters in Warren.

“From September 10 through September 17 we’ll be happy to accept recyclable metal from the community,” Snyder said. “There will be a dumpster for recyclable metal in the parking lot of AutoZone on Market Street in North Warren. Watch for the sign.”

No garbage, tires, mattresses, batteries or electronics can be accepted there.

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